The Great Sand Plum Debate

by Sep 6, 2021Devotional

We have a couple of sand plum trees in our yard.  This year, they have really produced.  These little trees have been loaded down with fruit. 

It’s been a little sad to me because these look like something in the cherry family…so yummy.  But they aren’t! 

It’s amusing to see people who are unfamiliar with these ask if they may taste them. “Sure, go ahead,” we tell them.  As soon as they experience the sand plums, they grimace. 

My husband, Todd, had the sand plums on his mental “to do list” this year.  He felt like they needed to be picked and used.  I didn’t mind if they rotted on the ground…little imposters!  They do not taste the way they look!

This had been on Todd’s mind so much, that it was the source of his testimony a couple of weeks ago.  He told everyone about all his fruit trees (we also have an apple tree that produces less-than-desirable apples). 

He really did have a good point.  Life had been busy, and Todd had not had time to harvest all this fruit!  There was an abundance.  He said that God had an orchard for the picking.  What are we doing with God’s abundance?  Are we too busy, or are we taking advantage of it?  It is there if we will take the time.

Hopefully nobody got lost in the bushes as he told all about the fruit on the trees, the ground, and even more abundance that had been given to us this year.

In the middle of this testimony, he told the whole congregation that sand plums make the best jelly in the world!  It really does not bother Todd like it bothers my very literal mind when he makes such statements.  It doesn’t even matter that he has not tried every jelly in the world.  He just knows (with lots of emphatic feeling) that this is true!

I felt doubtful.  I happened to know that there were unused jars of jelly on our shelf from a year ago when he had made this sand plum jelly (touted to be the best jelly in the world)!

I quickly looked the crowd over as he testified.  I was looking for someone who was nodding as he said this was fabulous jelly.  I knew that such a person was going to be the new owner of some jelly that I could then get off of my shelf.  I spied Brother Lee Epp, smiling and nodding in agreement.  In my mind, Lee Epp had just won some sand plum jelly!

As soon as we got home, the children all questioned him, “So, this is the best jelly in the world?”  Poor Todd felt ganged up on. 

He went back to church Sunday night and told the whole church how abused he was by the entire family.  He explained that he still stood by his statement that sand plum jelly was extremely fabulous!  He said that the reason he had jars leftover was because of his lack of experience in making the jelly.  It had not set up right.  I guess sand plum jelly was not to be judged by what he made in 2020.

Todd’s point was that if your experience with God doesn’t match up to God’s promises, don’t give up in despair.  Don’t say, “This jelly really isn’t as good as I was told.”  But seek God and get what is promised in the Bible!

After Todd sat down, my daughter Abigail testified.  She said, “My dad told us all how great sand plum jelly was when we all knew that he had jelly at home that even he was not eating.  It had just felt like talk to our family.” 

She said that sometimes people do that.  They come to church and talk up God when it doesn’t match their experience of what they are living at home.  Their family knows what they are really doing at home and how much jelly they are not partaking.

She said, “Dad did not convince me about sand plum jelly, but what my dad DID convince me about was that holiness was real.  He gave out samples until I was convinced that it was what I wanted.”

If I had to choose between convincing others of sand plum jelly or convincing them that God’s power is real and that following holiness is the way to go…I would choose holiness!

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.  Psalm 34:8

I want people to see my fruit and be hungry for what I have. 

By the way…Todd has made another batch of sand plum jelly this month, and he is quite pleased with the results!



  1. Stephanie

    Love this, true and beautiful! 🙂
    Thank you!

    • Elizabeth Hamilton

      Thank you, Stephanie

  2. Sandra

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing. Living by example means so much more than…..the talk.

    • Elizabeth Hamilton

      So true! And yet, how much harder to do. Thank you for your comment.